The original intent of TBG, according to the bylaws, was defined as a traditional bow "hunting" organization. As I understand it, the associate membership for the first year of membership was put in place to establish/confirm that a member was serious about the organization and it's intents and purposes. After one year (or was in two?) he could apply for full/regular membership if another regular member would sponsor him or her. I had to do just that many years ago and I believe it serves a good purpose. If the associate membership status is removed from the bylaws (may have been done so already) I still think a new member should have to be a member for at least one year before being eligible to vote in elections or on any other matters. I think this is good for the new member as well as TBG as it gives them time to get a feel for how things or done according to the bylaws and for other regular members who may want to serve as an elected officer. I love the TBG 3D shoots when I can make them but I recognize that first and foremost it IS a "hunting" organization.